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    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Sicilian Fish Teamed with some 'Citrusy' Cous Cous - What a Lovely Birthday Lunch

    We have been up to Omaha Beach for our Friend Sheryl's Birthday
    Isn't this idyllic
    Wasn't quite warm enough for swimming or actual sunbathing but just to be on the beach is enough.
    Our menu was a beautiful Goats Cheese Tart supplied by Sheryl's friend Sue for the starter.

    I made Sicilan Fish accompanied by a Moroccan  Cous Cous
    Both of these dishes are great for a crowd, really simple to prepare and easy to expand.
    The flavours worked really well together.
    This Fish Dish is best with a meaty fish
    The flavours are quite strong...e.g. Rosemary, capers, anchovies and lemon
    Meanwhile the Cous Cous complements, with Orange, Currants and Pinenuts

    For the Fish
    200 gms white fish per person e.g. Hapuka, Swordfish
    Several stalks rosemary
    4 lemons thinly sliced
    1 jar capers
    8 tablespoons Olive oil
    1 jar anchovies
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Cut fish into chunks about 4 cms and place in a bowl
    Put rosemary leaves capers and oil into a mortar
    Scrunch up with the pestle and add to the fish
    Massage fish well
    You can do this in advance and keep in fridge till ready

    Heat oven to 220C
    Into your roasting pan lay out the fish
    Season with S & P
    Cover with lemons and anchovies
    Pour over any remaining marinade
    Cook for 20 minutes
    On this occasion for added luxury I scattered some roasted prawns just before serving
    Plus a little chopped parsley is nice

    Got this idea for the Cous Cous from Mrs Ina Garten The Barefoot Contessa
    I added Zest of an orange to marry with the marinade
    And some rocket leaves for colour and bit extra bite
    Also I made a dressing with the juice of the orange and some olive oil
    This was so tasty.
    And of course I made little cakes with the leftovers for lunch the next day.

    4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup chopped shallots
    3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or canned broth
    1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 1/2 cups couscous
    1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
    1/4 cup currants
    Zest of 1 orange
    2 handfuls rocket

    Juice of 1 orange  about 2 tablespoons 
    4 tablespoons olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Pinch sugar

    Melt the butter in a large saute pan,
    Add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat.
    Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil.
    Off the heat and add the couscous.
    Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

    Add the pine nuts, currants,orange zest and rocket to the couscous,

    Toss with the dressing
    So the next day we had leftovers
    I added a couple of eggs to the mixture
    Rolled into balls and flattened to a patty
    Roll in fresh bread crumbs

    Place in fridge for about an hour to set
    Fry in vegetable oil (I like Rice Bran)
    These were delicious served with some meaty sausages and a Feijoa Chutney
    Of course a birthday Cake was in order
    This recipe also came from Ina Garten
    Originally for cupcakes

    It makes 30 cup cakes but I decided to turn half of the mixture into a 'Cake' Cake
    You have to have a real cake for a birthday
    Covered with Vanilla Lemon Frosting
    It is a beautiful mix. Think it will always be my Birthday Cake from Now on
    (Unless you want chocolate)
    Our Grandson Joseph was in charge of lighting the candles

    Preheat the oven to 170C Fan bake.
    For the Cup Cakes
    Prepare muffin tins, I used Paper linings
    The quantities below are for the full Monty

    I halved the mixture and made 2 batches
    1 batch made 15 Cup Cakes
    The other made the Cake

    For the "Cake" Cake
    I prepared a 20cm tin
    Lined the bottom with baking paper and greased and floured the sides

    18 tablespoons (290gms) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    3 cups sugar
    6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
    225 gms (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
    1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 lemon, zested 
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1/3 cup cornstarch
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda

    Now to make the cake,
    Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    (I used a hand beater, that is fine)
    On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time,
    then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest,
    scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well.
    Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda.
    With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth.
    Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed.

    Fill tins to ¾ and bake in oven
    Bake 18-20 minutes.

    Test with a skewer until it comes out clean
    You may find it needs extra time just keep an eye on them

    With the Big Cake, I tested after 50 minutes
    Could take up to an hour
    Just test with the skewer
    Cool to room Temperature.

    Vanilla Lemon Frosting
    250 grams cream cheese at room temperature
    115 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    Juice of 1 lemon
    350 grams icing sugar, sifted

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on low speed,
    cream together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla and lemon juice.
    Add the icing sugar and mix until smooth.
    Smother your cakes
    For the festive look I sprinkled a few Silver Cashous over the top
    Happy Birthday Sheryl

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